When Will Wisconsin Legalize Sports Betting?

When will Wisconsin legalize sports betting? The state has been somewhat of a pioneer when it comes to legal gambling–having initially approved sports betting in 1956 and later allowing it throughout the state in the 1960s. While other states took much longer to follow suit, by the end of the 2010s, all but four states were on board with wagering on sporting events. Since then, that number has shrunk slightly as four more states (Alaska, Nevada, New York, and Missouri) have legalized limited sports betting.

The Growth Of Legal Gambling In America

It’s long been a dream of many that American sports and gambling would peacefully coexist. In the decades that followed World War II and the repeal of Prohibition, that dream became a reality as states and the federal government slowly rolled back the years of uncertainty.

To start, most states initially banned all forms of legal gambling. However, in the mid-1950s, the tide started to turn. The first glimmer of hope came in March 1956, when Massachusetts officially approved pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing. Less than a year later, on August 1, 1957, the nation’s first legal sportsbook opened its doors in New York City. It didn’t take long for other states to follow suit.

In fact, it was one of the most historic events in the history of Wisconsin when, on August 18, 2019, Governor Tony Evers signed a bill into law that will allow residents of the state to legally wager on sporting events for the first time in over 75 years. The new law will take effect on October 15, 2019 and applies only to professional and collegiate sportsbooks conducting business in the state as well as race tracks, casinos, and other gaming establishments that wish to offer sports wagering. It does not apply to individuals.

Why Has Legal Gambling Grown So Fast?

Legal sports wagering is a fairly new concept, having only become legal in four states (and D.C.) as of 2019. As a result, not all states are equipped with the proper frameworks in place to regulate and oversee the industry as it develops. For that reason, it’s quite likely that some illegal sports betting will continue to exist for the time being.

On the other hand, many states that have already legalized betting are finding the industry to be extremely lucrative. If a state such as Wisconsin, which had a longstanding history of legal gambling, chooses to become a major player in the sports wagering industry, the benefits for consumers and businesses should be immediate and plentiful.

What Will The Future Of Legal Gambling Look Like?

The introduction of new technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies into the sports betting arena will likely help to define how this industry develops in the future. For one thing, blockchain makes keeping track of bets and transactions extremely effortless. This in turn creates a safer and more reliable environment for sports bettors and operators alike. Anecdotally, many already anticipate the industry will move to a fully digital platform in the future.

Along with enhanced security and convenience, blockchain also offers the potential to greatly reduce sports betting costs. After decades of legal uncertainty, it will be fascinating to see how the industry develops in the coming years.